Located on the East Boston Waterfront, Boston East is a multi-family development that includes 6 live/work/sell units on the ground floor. These units serve local artists by allowing them to open their doors to the public to showcase and sell their work.
Historically, the site was home to The East Boston Shipyard where, from 1845 to 1869, famous naval architect Donald McKay built dozens of clipper ships which set numerous speed records and were considered the fastest sailing ships of their time. Today the site hosts a 200 unit, 6 story building with a central arched breezeway that opens up to a shared main lawn overlooking The Boston Harbor and East Boston Harborwalk.
As the Landscape Architect, our design drew heavily from both the historic and present-day context. We worked with local historians to place 3 plaques throughout the site that describe its rich history and implemented historic references, including the names of McKay’s clipper ships etched into landscape pavers within the arched breezeway. Additionally, we strove to mitigate harsh weather conditions the site is occasionally subjected to, including heavy winds, salt, and seasonal flooding. Design choices were made to elevate the existing grade and install salt tolerant plants that could tolerate and absorb the impact of these natural variables while respecting and adding to the waterfront’s natural beauty.